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"At a mile distant their thousand hooves were stuttering thunder, coming at a rate that frightened a man - they were an awe inspiring sight, galloping through the red haze - knee to knee and horse to horse - the dying sun glinting on bayonet points..." Trooper Ion Idriess

The Australian Light Horse Studies Centre aims to present an accurate history as chroniclers of early Australian military developments from 1899 to 1920.

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WARNING: This site contains: names, information and images of deceased people; and, language which may be considered inappropriate today.

Monday, 15 December 2008
The Monaro Mercury - War Declared
Topic: GW - August 1914

 

7 August  1914, War is Declared, The Monaro Mercury

Due to the time zone differences, the declaration of war by Britain against Germany, while officially recorded as 4 August 1914, in terms of Australia, did not happen until Wednesday, 5 August 1915. For the The Monaro Mercury, this did not happen until the end of the week, on Friday, 7 August 1914.

Apart from being a major regional agricultural centre, the Cooma region supported minor military training facilities. The Militia formations throughout the region included: Cooma, 11th Australian Light Horse Regiment,  Machine Gun Section and "A" Squadron (part); Cooma Rifle Club; Adaminaby Rifle Club; Bombala Rifle Club; Nimitybelle Rifle Club; Berridale Rifle Club; and, Dalgety Rifle Club

Cooma was a regional centre which boasted of a weekly newspaper published every Friday called The Monaro Mercury incorporating the Cooma and Bombala AdvertiserThe Monaro Mercury was priced at 3d [3 pence or in 2008 AUD, $5] per edition. The newspaper was circulated around the Cooma region including the locations and towns of Cooma, Bombala, Nimmitabel, Berridale, Dalgety, Maffra, Coonerang, Adaminaby, Kiandra, and Bredbo.

The area around the Cooma region is composed mainly of undulating pastures puctuated by two alpine regions with snow peaked mountains in the winter. The region presents a diverse landscape of agriculture mixed with wilderness. Cooma was the primary city in the region offering key services to sheep grazing activities. The following two pages are indicative of the life experienced in the Cooma region when the Great War was declared.

War is Declared

This page explores the way The Monaro Mercury dealt with the news.

The Monaro Mercury, Friday, 7 August 1914, p. 2.

[Click on page for larger version -  938kb]

War! War!

Advertisers were quick to trivialise the ghastly business of war in order to turn a quick profit. It was an Australian wide phenomenon that lasted until the casualty reports began to filter in from Gallipoli. Until then, it was the Great Game and Great Adventure.

Murphy's on the corner of Vale and Sharp Streets, one of the prime locations in Cooma, used the "War!" motif to sell his goods.

Always ensure there is at least one cemetery in an electorate

The old Sussex Street Trades Hall saw that a good electorate should contain at least one, if not more cemeteries, seems to have been the target of Mr Palmer Sutton of Fontenoy. Suspicious that the Labor Party was utilising the cemetery vote to win the seat against the Liberal Party candidate, Sutton went through the electoral roll of his area and discovered many anomalies. So angered that the election might be stolen, he penned his letter to The Monaro Mercury with the intent to alert the public of his discovery. Below is his letter:

Mr Palmer Sutton
Fontenoy near Adaminaby
2 August 1914:

Allow me to send electoral list in which I find no mention of my name or my wife's. I cause inquiry to be made by the Adaminaby postmaster about a month since who stated that both names were on the list of electors. I find in said list that several names are omitted, also a few who have died which I mark in black ink, and some who have left this part a considerable time marked in coloured ink. The above mentioned irregularities are chiefly injurious to the Liberal interest. There are probably many more errors in the list sent. I only attend to those I know of as my circle of acquaintances is small. Our fair friends here are anxious in the Liberal interest.

The cemetery vote was always an important element in the New South Wales electoral system. With many dead people enrolled, party hacks would then vote in the name of the deceased. This common practice lead to the second adage: "Vote early and vote often."  Usually attributed to Mayor William Hale Thompson of Chicargo, it was well and truly embedded in the political process of the time. It took many decades for these corrupt practices to be excised from the electoral system ensuring a fair result.

The Cooma Rifle Club

The first round of shooting towards the Lovegrove Trophy and the NRA [National Rifle Association] Medal took place on Wednesday, 5 August 1914. The competition involved ten shots from 300 yards [274m]. A. Fallick and W Kaufline won the cash prizes. The other shooters who scored well included F Gunning, TW McRae, JA Goodwin and A McDonald.

The rifle clubs were an important source of trained recruits for the AIF. Many of the Light Horsemen who volunteered for overseas service with the AIF were members of the local rifle club.

Light Horsemen from the Cooma Region

The following list is of the known men who enlisted in the Australian Light Horse during the Great War and saw overseas service. The enlistments are in regimental unit in which he enlisted, although not necessarily served. The fate of the man is the last record.

  • 232 Trooper Joseph Dermod Little, 1st Field Ambulance, returned to Australia.
  • 195 Trooper Charles Vivian Owers, 1st Field Ambulance, returned to Australia.
  • 21431 Trooper Pierre Marie Antoine Speet, 1st Field Squadron Engineers - January, 1918, Reinforcements, returned to Australia.
  • 288 Trooper Athol Robert Ashworth, 1st Light Horse Regiment, B Squadron, returned to Australia.
  • 1386 Trooper Francis Harold Burgess, 1st Light Horse Regiment, 11th Reinforcement, returned to Australia.
  • 3413 Trooper Richard John Collins, 1st Light Horse Regiment, 29th Reinforcement, returned to Australia.
  • 2465 Trooper Laurence John Delaney, 1st Light Horse Regiment, 17th Reinforcement, returned to Australia.
  • 3774 Trooper Edward George Dewdney, 1st Light Horse Regiment, 35th Reinforcement, returned to Australia.
  • 330 Trooper Monaghan Raymond Hayes, 1st Light Horse Regiment, B Squadron, Killed in Action at Gallipoli, 31 July 1915.
  • 1443 Trooper Leslie David Hurley, 1st Light Horse Regiment, 11th Reinforcement, returned to Australia.
  • 1890 Trooper Eric James Kelly, 1st Light Horse Regiment, 13th Reinforcement, returned to Australia.
  • 272 Trooper George Clifton Mcgregor, 1st Light Horse Regiment, B Squadron, returned to Australia.
  • 1102 Trooper Hugh Alfred Lawrence Mugridge, 1st Light Horse Regiment, 7th Reinforcement, returned to Australia.
  • 322 Trooper Robert Leslie Paton, 1st Light Horse Regiment, B Squadron, returned to Australia.
  • 366 Trooper Henry Francis Smith, 1st Light Horse Regiment, B Squadron, returned to Australia.
  • 674 Trooper Artemus Stendley Alexander, 2nd Light Horse Brigade, Headquarters, returned to Australia.
  • 2107 Trooper James Daniel Adams, 6th Light Horse Regiment, 14th Reinforcement, Killed in Action, Armentieres, France, 16 July 1916.
  • 1862 Trooper John James Constance, 6th Light Horse Regiment, 13th Reinforcement, returned to Australia.
  • 1866 Trooper Percy Thomas Constance, 6th Light Horse Regiment, 13th Reinforcement, returned to Australia.
  • Second Lieutenant Reginald Charles David Garnock, 6th Light Horse Regiment, 2nd Reinforcement, returned to Australia.
  • 2178 Trooper Harold Henry Gibbs, 6th Light Horse Regiment, 15th Reinforcement, returned to Australia.
  • 370 Trooper Charles Reginald Bede Gill, 6th Light Horse Regiment, C Squadron, returned to Australia.
  • 978 Trooper Leslie James Gurney, 6th Light Horse Regiment, 5th Reinforcement, returned to Australia.
  • 2104 Trooper Charles Stanley Jamieson, 6th Light Horse Regiment, 14th Reinforcement, returned to Australia.
  • 2103 Trooper David William Jamieson, 6th Light Horse Regiment, 14th Reinforcement, returned to Australia.
  • 3488 Trooper Merion Charles Moriarty, 6th Light Horse Regiment, 30th Reinforcement, returned to Australia.
  • 3138 Trooper Claude Mulhearn, 6th Light Horse Regiment, 24th Reinforcement, returned to Australia.
  • Major Frederick Dudley Weedon Oatley, 6th Light Horse Regiment, 19th Reinforcement, returned to Australia.
  • 1646 Trooper William Francis O'Donnell, 6th Light Horse Regiment, 12th Reinforcement, Killed in Action, Ypres, Belgium, 27 October 1917.
  • 1106 Trooper Thomas William Plackett, 6th Light Horse Regiment, 7th Reinforcement, returned to Australia.
  • 3540 Trooper Percy Norman Ryan, 6th Light Horse Regiment, 31st Reinforcement, returned to Australia.
  • 2106 Trooper Farquher Henry Suthern, 6th Light Horse Regiment, 14th Reinforcement, returned to Australia.
  • 2087 Trooper Howard Suthern, 6th Light Horse Regiment, 14th Reinforcement, returned to Australia.
  • 2090 Trooper Douglas Lewis Thomas, 6th Light Horse Regiment, 14th Reinforcement, returned to Australia.
  • 1524 Trooper Ernest James Toms, 6th Light Horse Regiment, 11th Reinforcement, returned to Australia.
  • 2312 Trooper Francis Charles Bonny, 7th Light Horse Regiment, 16th Reinforcement, returned to Australia.
  • 2157 Trooper Terry Patrick Bray, 7th Light Horse Regiment, 15th Reinforcement, returned to Australia.
  • 2311 Trooper Henry Broadhead, 7th Light Horse Regiment, 16th Reinforcement, returned to Australia.
  • 2636 Trooper Reginald James Brown, 7th Light Horse Regiment, 18th Reinforcement, returned to Australia.
  • 929 Trooper Conyers Clifford, 7th Light Horse Regiment, 5th Reinforcement, Killed in Action at Gallipoli, 5 August 1915.
  • 461 Trooper Albert James Filtness, 7th Light Horse Regiment, C Squadron, returned to Australia.
  • 2647 Trooper Thomas James Gearin, 7th Light Horse Regiment, 18th Reinforcement, returned to Australia.
  • 2663 Trooper Thomas William Hayes, 7th Light Horse Regiment, 18th Reinforcement, returned to Australia.
  • 2125 Trooper Robert Albert Jones, 7th Light Horse Regiment, 14th Reinforcement, returned to Australia.
  • 2833 Trooper Robert Matthews, 7th Light Horse Regiment, 19th Reinforcement, returned to Australia.
  • 1671 Trooper William Henry Mcdonald, 7th Light Horse Regiment, 12th Reinforcement, returned to Australia.
  • 3558 Trooper Patrick Cecil Mulhearn, 7th Light Horse Regiment, 31st Reinforcement, returned to Australia.
  • 2409 Trooper Harrie Linden Murphy, 7th Light Horse Regiment, 16th Reinforcement, Killed in Action in Palestine, 30 August 1918.
  • 1409 Trooper Alfred Joseph Rolfe, 7th Light Horse Regiment, 11th Reinforcement, returned to Australia.
  • 1410 Trooper Arthur Lawrence Rolfe, 7th Light Horse Regiment, 11th Reinforcement, returned to Australia.
  • 2277 Trooper Herbert Smart, 7th Light Horse Regiment, 15th Reinforcement, returned to Australia.
  • 1771 Trooper Arthur Ephrone Staples, 7th Light Horse Regiment, 12th Reinforcement, returned to Australia.
  • 352 Trooper Stewart Stone, 11th Light Horse Regiment, B Squadron, returned to Australia.
  • 1373 Trooper Thomas Percy Barber, 12th Light Horse Regiment, 7th Reinforcement, returned to Australia.
  • Captain Leslie Cowlishaw, 12th Light Horse Regiment, Headquarters, returned to Australia.
  • 470 Trooper Maurice Edward Dawson, 12th Light Horse Regiment, C Squadron, returned to Australia.
  • 142 Trooper James Arthur Gilbert, 12th Light Horse Regiment, A Squadron, and also 11th Reinforcement, returned to Australia.
  • 1552 Trooper John Angus Muir, 12th Light Horse Regiment, 6th Reinforcement, returned to Australia.
  • Lieutenant George Richard Irving, Australian Remount Unit 2, Squadron 6, returned to Australia.
  • 1691 Trooper Charles Henry Stiles, Australian Remount Unit 2, Squadron 6, returned to Australia.
  • 1141 Trooper Francis George Townsend, Australian Remount Unit 1, Squadron 4, returned to Australia.
  • 17103 Trooper Arthur Lachlan Cochran, Australian Wireless Squadron 1, Reinforcement 7, returned to Australia.
  • 1657 Trooper Victor Edward Brown, Camel Corps, November 1916 Reinforcements, returned to Australia.
  • 1693 Trooper Harold Ronald Mcdonald, Camel Corps, November 1916 Reinforcements, returned to Australia.
  • 3348 Trooper Percy Ernest O'connor, Camel Corps, May 1917 Reinforcements, returned to Australia.
  • 3308 Trooper Arthur Sylvester Phillips, Camel Corps, May 1917 Reinforcements, returned to Australia.
  • 1698 Trooper John Ballantine Simpson Robbie, Camel Corps November 1916 Reinforcements, returned to Australia.
  • 1792 Trooper Boyd John Thurbon, Camel Corps November 1916 Reinforcements, returned to Australia.
  • 4483 Trooper Arthur Duncan, General Service Reinforcements, Light Horse, February 1918 Reinforcements, returned to Australia.

Cooma Activities, 7 August 1914

While the war announcement was a significant story, the life of Cooma did not halt but just kept going on, as it did for the duration of the war. This page details quite clearly some of the life that occurred within the south Cooma region.

 

The Monaro Mercury, Friday, 7 August 1914, p. 3.

[Click on page for larger version -  895kb]

 

Adaminaby Lands Board Meeting

There might have been a war on but the day to day details of life were maintained. For the projected meeting of the Adaminaby Lands Board at the Court House on Wednesday, 12 August 1914 at 11am, items regarding the community structure were placed on notice for public discussion.

To deal with funding various community projects, assessment of properties for rating formed the major part of the proceedings. At this meeting they were examining the ratings for Percy A Brooks with his 2,200 acres [890.34 ha], Louisa Matilda Pryee and her 140.25 acres [56.76 ha], William Hamilton's 300 acres [121.41 ha], David Henderson and his 150 acres [60.70 ha] and the 67.5 acres [27.3 ha] belonging to Margaret Creaser. In addition, new land needed appraisal of rental or cleared land value. The noticeable item is the role women played as land holders and so as rate payers.

Apart from rating issues, there was an application by Mary Ann Green to erect a "Give and Take" fence. Robert M Stuart wanted to enclose the roads through his property while Joseph Heywood want to put rabbit proof fencing across the road that traversed his property.

The concept of a the "Give and Take" fence is a curious one which was made possible under the Closer Settlement Act 1904 where the local topography prevented the boundary line being fenced exactly between large country properties. Hence the concept of "Give and Take" - "I'll give you some of my land and I will take some of yours when the fence line is placed in a convenient topographical location." Rugged cliffs and such items made exact boundary fences difficult and under these circumstances, provided that it was considered by the land's board, was a satisfactory arrangement for all parties.

The enclosure of a road was also an important item for a farmer. The open road was often a source of major disagreement and complaint between neighbours. This was most especially so when stock was being driven to market. Other times occurred when oxen or horse drawn wagons moved along the track. The animals were more than happy to trample over another person's property to access water or fodder or both. this was especially true if the property was bisected by a busy road.

The rabbit proof fencing was indicative of the spread of rabbits in the area and the damage they were doing to the soil and vegetation. The employment of rabbit proof fences was a short term answer to a difficult question. It gave the farmer a few years respite from the property being over run by rabbits, an inevitable outcome regardless of the fence.

The Cooma District Hospital

Cooma District Hospital Nurses Quarters after a snow storm

Hospital Board

R Craig (President)
George Kaufline (Vice President)
BL Lovegrove (Vice President)
WH Gurney (Hon Treasurer)
J Ferari
H Gunning
SM Osborne
WJ Osbmond
EH Litchfield
H F Faulkner
WH Thomson
EH Quodling
JA Norris
JC Ryrie
OK Silk
AE Darling
DJ O'Rourke
CJ Walmsley (Treasurer)
WK Bannister (Auditor)
HH Solomon (Auditor)
Dr Harvison (Medical Officer)
Dr L Cowlishaw (Medical Officer)
T Faulkner  (Medical Officer)
Dr Finley  (Medical Officer)
Miss G Phillips (Matron)
HVS Wells (Dental Surgeon)
CF Moses  (Dental Surgeon)

A few names stand out. The first is BL Lovegrove, after whom the Lovegrove Cup was named. [See Rifle Club above.]  Dr L Cowlishaw served with the AIF as a Medical Officer. JC Ryrie came from the well known Ryrie family who originally settled in the Michaelago area.

The history revealed by a newspaper

A newspaper is a historical snapshot of a particular area on the day the newspaper was published. They contain a wealth of information which can be extracted and used according to the individual taste. The above extracts give an example of the depth of information contained within a simple rural newspaper. Every story contains many more stories, each layered upon each other like onion peels. As one peels away one skin, more appear to reveal a vibrant community brimming with history.

Do you want to take part in uncovering and writing Australian history?

If this entry or other entries inspires you to produce further insights, please feel free to post a response and it may become an acknowledged part of the article.

 

Further Reading:

Complete list of Newspaper References for 5 August 1914

 


Citation: The Monaro Mercury - War Declared

Posted by Project Leader at 8:33 AM EAST
Updated: Tuesday, 16 December 2008 6:01 PM EAST
9th LHR AIF War Diary, 15 December
Topic: AIF - 3B - 9 LHR

9th LHR, AIF

9th Light Horse Regiment

War Diary, 15 December

Pro Gloria et Honore - For Glory and Honour

Regimental March -  Marching Through Georgia

 

 

The following entries are extracted and transcribed from the 9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary, the originals of which are held by the Australian War Memorial. There are 366 entries on this site. Each day has entries as they occurred from 1914 to 1919. In addition to the 9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary, when appropriate, entries from the 3rd Light Horse Brigade War Diary and other regiments with the Brigade will also appear. Entries from the unit history, Darley, TH, With the Ninth Light Horse in the Great War, Adelaide, Hassell Press, 1924 will also appear from time to time. The aim is to give the broadest context to the story and allow the reader to follow the day to day activities of the regiment. If a relative happened to have served in the regiment during the Great War, then this provides a general framework in which the individual story may be told.

 

The Diary

 

1914

Tuesday, December 15, 1914

9th Light Horse Regiment Location -  Broadmeadows Camp, Victoria. 

9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - Organising, training and equipping of troops.

See: Broadmeadows 1909

 

1915

Wednesday, December 15, 1915

9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Rhododendron Spur

9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary -  Very cold wind blowing. All surplus baggage sent to the beach.

 

1916

Friday, December 15, 1916

9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Bir el Malha

9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - The Regiment undertook routine work for the day. Williams, Lieutenant H, reported back from hospital via Kantara. Enemy aeroplane flew over Bir el Malha.

 

1917

Saturday, December 15, 1917

9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Suffa.

9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - 0600 Patrols sent out to Balin and towards Kefr Namah. Ballot taken in Referendum.

 

1918

Sunday, December 15, 1918

9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Tripoli

9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - Besherri Leave Party returned having spent a pleasant week in the mountains although encountering very boisterous and wet weather.

 

1919

Monday, December 15, 1919

9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Adelaide

9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - Regiment disbanded.

 

 

Previous: 9th LHR AIF War Diary, 14 December

Next: 9th LHR AIF War Diary, 16 December

 

Sources:

See: 9th Australian Light Horse Regiment, Contents
Australian Light Horse Studies Centre, AIF War Diaries of the Great War, Site Transcription Policy

 

Further Reading:

9th Light Horse Regiment AIF

Bert Schramm Diary

9th Australian Light Horse Regiment, Roll of Honour 

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920

 
Citation: 9th LHR AIF War Diary, 15 December

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EAST
Updated: Wednesday, 22 September 2010 10:48 PM EADT
Sunday, 14 December 2008
Bert Schramm's Diary, 15 December 1918
Topic: Diary - Schramm

During part of the course of his military service with the AIF, 2823 Private Herbert Leslie Schramm, a farmer from White's River, near Tumby Bay on the Eyre Peninsular, kept a diary of his life. Bert was not a man of letters so this diary was produced with great effort on his behalf. Bert made a promise to his sweetheart, Lucy Solley, that he would do so after he received the blank pocket notebook wherein these entries are found. As a Brigade Scout since September 1918, he took a lead part in the September 1918 breakout by the Allied forces in Palestine. Bert's diary entries are placed alongside those of the 9th Light Horse Regiment to which he belonged and to the 3rd Light Horse Brigade to which the 9th LHR was attached. On this basis we can follow Bert in the context of his formation.

 Bert Schramm's Diary, 15 December 1918

 


 

Bert Schramm's Handwritten Diary, 15 - 20 December 1918

[Click on page for a larger print version.]

Diaries

Bert Schramm

Sunday, December 15, 1918

Bert Schramm's Location - Tripoli

Bert Schramm's Diary -  Raining little firm and seems as if it will now stay. No news of any kind.

 

 

9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary

9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Tripoli

9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - Besherri Leave Party returned having spent a pleasant week in the mountains although encountering very boisterous and wet weather.

 

Darley

Darley, TH, With the Ninth Light Horse in the Great War, Adelaide, Hassell Press, 1924.

No Entry

 

Further Reading:

9th Light Horse Regiment AIF War Diary - Complete day by day list

Bert Schramm Diary 

Bert Schramm Diary - Complete day by day list

 

Additional Reading:

Darley, TH, With the Ninth Light Horse in the Great War, Adelaide, Hassell Press, 1924.

 


Citation: Bert Schramm's Diary, 15 December 1918


Posted by Project Leader at 11:01 PM EAST
Updated: Saturday, 20 December 2008 7:13 PM EAST
Colonel Husnu, Yildirim, Page 161
Topic: Tk - Bks - Yildirim

Another entry from the book written by Lieutenant Colonel Hüseyin Hüsnü Emir, called Yildirim. Every day, one page of the book will be posted. This is Page 161.



Colonel Hüsnü, Yildirim, Page 161.

[Click on page for a larger print version.]

 

This chapter deals with Hüsnü observations of the Turkish response to Beersheba on other parts of the battlefield.

 

Further Reading:

List of all Yildirim pages

 


Citation: Colonel Hüsnü, Yildirim, Page 161

Posted by Project Leader at 11:01 PM EAST
Updated: Saturday, 20 December 2008 8:03 PM EAST
The Walhalla Chronicle - War Declared
Topic: GW - August 1914

 

7 August  1914, War is Declared, The Walhalla Chronicle

 

Due to the time zone differences, the declaration of war by Britain against Germany, while officially recorded as 4 August 1914, in terms of Australia, did not happen until Wednesday, 5 August 1915. For the The Walhalla Chronicle, this did not happen until the end of the week, on Friday, 7 August 1914.

Apart from being a major regional agricultural area, the Walhalla region supported minor military training facilities. The Militia formations throughout the region included only the Walhalla Rifle Club

Walhalla was a regional centre which boasted of a weekly newspaper published every Friday called The Walhalla Chronicle incorporating the Moondarra AdvertiserThe Walhalla Chronicle was priced at 3d [3 pence or in 2008 AUD, $5] per edition. The newspaper was circulated around the Walhalla region including the locations and towns of Walhalla, Happy Go Lucky, Erica, Jacob Creek, Moondarra, and Cooper's Creek.

 

Walhalla Chronicle Office, 2008

[From: By permission from Stevage]

 

Location of the Chronicle Office on Main Street, Walhalla, c. 1914

 

The area is mountainous with Walhalla located in a valley. The region presents a diverse landscape of alpine wilderness. In 1914, Walhalla was the primary city in the region with 15 hotels, 40 shops, two breweries, seven churches, a school with over 500 students. Its wealth was based upon gold which was discovered in 1863. At its peak, Walhalla had a population in excess of 4,000 people. It was classified as the wealthiest town in Victoria. Now with a population of about 20 people, it is a town frozen in time. The following two pages are indicative of the life experienced in the Walhalla region when the Great War was declared.

 

War is Declared

This page explores the way The Walhalla Chronicle dealt with the news.

 

The Walhalla Chronicle, Friday, 7 August 1914, p. 2.

[Click on page for larger version -  1.152mb]

 

Walhalla Directory

Federal Electorate - Gippsland
Federal Representative - Mr James Bennett

State Electorate - Walhalla
State Representative - Mr Samuel Barnes

 

Municipality of Walhalla - Founded in 1886

Councillors -

PH Miles (President)
H Hartrick
GV Morgan
AV Lundy
PF Hannan
Johnathon Lamont
James Barry
Hy Dedman
John Finlayson

Secretary and Rate Collector - H McC Kelly
Health Officer - Dr F Hayes
Inspector of Nuisances - John Butler

Public Halls
Oddfellows - W Trembath, Secretary
Foresters - G Masters, Secretary
Mechanics' Institute - AE Rodda, Secretary



Walhalla District Hospital

 

Walhalla District Hospital, c. 1900

 

Hospital Board

GD Smith, President

Committee -

PF Hannan
J Smith
H Hartrick
James Barry
Major Rigg
Johnathon Finlayson
W Gerrard
CS Atherton
W Swinler
C James
L Williams
Thomas Slavin
H Goodwin

M Riley, Medical Officer
JJ Smith, Treasurer
HH Ryan, Secretary
Miss Armstrong, Matron.

 

Editorial - Appalled by the War Declaration

The editorial of The Walhalla Chronicle is clearly indicating a devastation with the announcement and a dread at the result. The editorial bears full transcription.

The feelings of every man who thinks and who is capable of realising what a European war means under modern conditions of fighting, must have been thrilled during the past few days, as the declaration of war by one nation against another was announced in natural sequence, culminating in the news that the British Empire had been forced to join in the general eruption. The dreadful possibilities involved have temporarily paralysed the great nations of the earth, and business and commerce, even in Australia, on the remotest confines of the Empire, are soon likely to be seriously affected. It is an appalling condemnation of our boasted civilisation, that in this 20th Century we cannot find means of allaying the passions of men, and of settling our national misunderstandings, on the basis of equity and peace.

This editorial will never date. Some of the expressions are out dated. The term "thrilled" has taken on new meanings as the century progressed. In the context of this article, the term evokes the notion of horror and terror rather than the newer meaning which is more synonymous with exciting.

 

Things are different at Moondarra

In contrast to the reflective editorial, W. Whitney of Moondarra, penned this piece of doggerel on 4 August 1914 urging the British to join in the fight against the Germans. In Australia, the following day saw this wish come to fruition.

 

Britannia

Draw the sword Britannia
The war-clouds darkly race,
Across thy sky of freedom
They ominously chase.

Draw the sword Britannia,
The ocean shouts to thee,
"Clear the decks for action,"
If you would still be free.

Remember Holstein, England,
Alsatia's mountains, blue
The hour to strike is on us
Or else for ever rue.

Draw the sword Britannia.
Speed on they trusty fleet,
Bear your part in British heart
Or bow at German feet.

Oscar Wilde's famous invocation comes to mind when reading this poem. Wilde said: "When the gods wish to punish us they answer our prayers." One can only speculate over thoughts of W. Whitney in August 1915, a year after this prayer was granted.

 

Light Horsemen from Walhalla

Below is the brief list of the men from Walhalla who served overseas with the Light Horse.

  • 1218 Trooper Robert William Chance, 13th Light Horse Regiment, 6th Reinforcement.
  • 2334 Trooper John Clements Guatta, 4th Light Horse Regiment, 16th Reinforcement.
  • 617 Trooper William Edwards, 8th Light Horse Regiment, 1st Reinforcement.  

All men returned to Australia. 


Walhalla Activities, 7 August 1914

While the war announcement was a significant story, the life of Walhalla did not halt but just kept going on, as it did for the duration of the war. This page details quite clearly some of the life that occurred within the south Walhalla region.

 

The Walhalla Chronicle, Friday, 7 August 1914, p. 3.

[Click on page for larger version -  1.12mb]

 

The year may be different but some things never change

Narnargoon boy James Patrick Canty, 13, watched his father blowing up stumps with gelignite. Impressed with the explosive power, he purloined some gelignite to demonstrate to his friends the explosive qualities of the material. He placed the gelignite on a stump and lit it. The resulting explosion was sufficient to damage the boy's face. In addition, he lost an eye. His friends escaped any injury by keeping a distance from the gelignite.

 

Again, some things never change.

The following was a letter purportedly sent to a Sydney newspaper.

NSW is a glorious country, bounded on the north by taxes, on the south by strikes, on the east by the Arbitration Court and on the west by the Trades Hall. It is noted for the high cost of living, sport worshippers, work shunners, never pays, prize fighters, land and mining swindles, red-tape and caucus rule. It is the best place on earth for drobes and idlers, who readily respond to the beck and call of paid agitators, for whom the industrious and thrifty are taxed, taxed, and taxed to desperation.

This particular complaint seems to appear every year in one form or another. It is updated to suit the times but the complaint is still the same. People are too lazy and no one wants to work. Unionists rule every aspect of life. Every honest person is taxed beyond endurance. The reality in 1914 was the same as in 2008, it was never true in any sense. But it makes for a wonderful grizzle and one things Australians do love to do, it is grizzle.

 

No golden era in Australian history

Two sisters driving their horse and sulky were bailed up by two armed robbers. Misses Catherine and Flora McLean had £2/19/- with them as they drove along the Stockton Road near Williamstown in NSW. After being bailed up, their money and sulky was stolen.

Many people reflect over the days of yore and imagine that there was a golden era in Australian history when people were law abiding and the streets were safe to travel. It was never true in 1914 any more than it is fact today. Despite all the troubles, Australian life is far safer today than a hundred years ago. But, it is hard to disprove the fantasy which believes the contrary. 

 

The history revealed by a newspaper

A newspaper is a historical snapshot of a particular area on the day the newspaper was published. They contain a wealth of information which can be extracted and used according to the individual taste. The above extracts give an example of the depth of information contained within a simple rural newspaper. Every story contains many more stories, each layered upon each other like onion peels. As one peels away one skin, more appear to reveal a vibrant community brimming with history.

 

Do you want to take part in uncovering and writing Australian history?

If this entry or other entries inspires you to produce further insights, please feel free to post a response and it may become an acknowledged part of the article.

 

Further Reading:

Complete list of Newspaper References for 5 August 1914

 


Citation: The Walhalla Chronicle - War Declared

Posted by Project Leader at 3:11 PM EAST
Updated: Sunday, 26 April 2009 1:22 AM EADT

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